The 5 Best Budget Gaming Laptops Under $1000 For College Students

Inexpensive, yet decently-specced for the PC gamer on a tighter budget
Predator
Check out these great and inexpensive laptops for the college student/PC gamer. Acer

It's almost time to go back to school, and if you are a college student on a budget who also wants to play some video games in your spare time, then look no further. These laptops will last your for at least four years, playing games at 1080p and 60 frames per second minimum. Check out this list for some of the best gaming laptops under $1000.

NOTE: If you buy something through this post, Player.One may get a share of the sale.

Dell G5 (15.6” LED Anti-Glare Display, Intel Core i5 8300H, Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 6GB)

Dell G5
Dell G5 Photo: Amazon

Inexpensive, yet well-built laptops have always been Dell’s specialty, and as such it’s hard to find a list like this that does not include one of their offerings. The Dell G5 has been around for quite some time now, and it’s had its price slashed several times as more recent models started popping up with Nvidia’s newest graphics cards. That’s not to say that it’s not a good pickup any more in 2019 – in fact, the G5, with its current spec sheet and the price tag it carries is probably one of the best entry-level laptops right now.

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The G5 is powered by an i5 8300H processor, which is more than enough for some light gaming and decent frames on some AAA titles. The GTX 1060 6GB is not that good of an option today if you’re building a desktop, but if you ever find it in a laptop for a price like this, it’s absolutely worth it. The G5 also comes with a 15.6” 1080p IPS LED display running at 60Hz, as well as a 128GB SSD boot drive and 1TB HDD for your digital library of games. The 8GB of 2666MHz RAM may not be enough for some, but for a couple of bucks more you can buy another stick to easily install into the G5.

Lenovo Legion Y520 (15.6" Anti-Glare LED Backlit Display, Intel Core i7 7700HQ, Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 6GB)

Lenovo Legion Y520
Lenovo Legion Y520 Photo: Amazon

Lenovo’s breakthrough gaming laptops have recently started to gain traction, thanks to their significantly lower prices and on-par specs. The Legion Y520 is perhaps their best entry-level laptop, and their most popular – the solid build quality and rather muted look makes it great for both gaming and lugging it along to class for schoolwork. With a refresh for this model on the horizon, this Y520 is now one of the best pick-ups for its price range thanks to its solid specs.

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The Y520 comes with an older, but still fast processor, the i7 7700HQ. It’s paired with a GTX 1060 6GB, and together you can get 60 frames on some older AAA titles at 1080p, depending on the settings you use. The Y520 also comes with a 15.6” IPS LED anti-glare and backlit display running at 60Hz, which features crisp colors and a decent color gamut. The keyboard is not RGB, but it’s backlit so you won’t have any problems in the dark. Perhaps the main selling point of the Y520 is its 16GB DDR4 RAM kit, which is hard to find at this price point – the tradeoff is that there’s no hard drive and a 256GB SSD. That is easily fixed though, as you can easily upgrade with a 1TB HDD pretty easily.

HP Omen 15 (15.6" FHD IPS 144Hz Display, Intel Core i7 8750H, Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB)

HP Omen 15
HP Omen 15 Photo: Amazon

If you want something that’s a bit nicer in the display department, then look no further than the HP Omen 15. This offering from HP comes in at just under a thousand bucks, and for that price you get a great package with a lot of headroom to play your favorite games. This is a bit more oriented towards CPU performance rather than GPU, which can be useful if you’re using it for more than just writing up projects on Word. The aesthetic may be a bit too ‘gamer’ for some, but the matte finish and muted color scheme more than makes up for this.

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The Omen 15 is powered by the powerful i7 8750H, which can turbo at speeds up to 4.1GHz. It’s probably the best processor you can get at a price of under $1000, especially considering that there are a lot of refreshed models released now on the market. Coming with this beefy processor is a slightly weaker GTX 1050 Ti, which may be a bit of a mixed bag for some people; it can play games, mind you, but adjust your expectations accordingly. It makes up for it with the absolutely ridiculous screen: a 144Hz IPS panel. This makes this machine perfect for playing MOBA titles like League of Legends and Dota 2. The Omen 15 also comes with 12GB of SDRAM, a 128GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD boot drive and a 1TB HDD.

Asus ROG Strix Scar Edition GL703GE (17.3” FHD 120Hz Display, Intel Core i7 8750H, Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB)

Asus ROG Strix Scar Edition GL703GE
Asus ROG Strix Scar Edition GL703GE Photo: Amazon

If you want something that’s a bit flashier thanks to RGB lighting, then Asus has you covered with the ROG Strix GL703GE. As with other Asus laptops, this one comes with an Aura Sync gaming keyboard, which is probably its main selling point; you get a fully customizable RGB keyboard with four zones and an included numpad, if you don’t mind the slightly tighter keys and somewhat awkward positioning.

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As for specs, the ROG Strix GL703GE comes with an i7 8750H, as well as a GTX 1050 Ti. You can expect performance in the same ballpark as the Omen 15, but the main difference is the screen. While the Omen 15 comes with a 144Hz IPS panel, the ROG Strix GL703GE instead has a 120Hz panel. However, you do get a faster response time, as the screen is certified at 3ms latency, which makes this perfect for first-person shooters or any game that requires twitchy and exact controls. It also comes with 16GB of DDR4 RAM, as well as a 256GB SSD and 1TB HDD combo.

Acer Predator Helios 300 (15.6” FHD IPS 144Hz Display, Intel Core i7 8750H, Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 6GB)

Acer Predator Helios 300
Acer Predator Helios 300 Photo: Amazon

If you’re looking for the absolute best of the bunch in the under $1000 gaming laptop category, then look no further than the Predator Helios 300. It has the best of all worlds from all of the other laptops, and thanks to a hefty $300 discount, you can now get it for under a thousand bucks. The Predator Helios 300 has a great screen and great CPU + GPU combo, along with a muted design. The build quality is pretty solid as well, although the machine can be quite chunky, so keep that in mind if you’re planning on hauling it around often.

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The Predator Helios 300 comes with the very fast i7 8750H and a GTX 1060 6GB, meaning it easily outperforms any other laptop on this list. You also get a great display to play on, running at 144Hz; with these specs, it’s easy to push into 144 FPS territory in games like CS:GO or Overwatch, provided you tinker with the settings a bit. You also get a 16GB DDR4 2666MHz RAM kit and a 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD; sadly there’s no additional hard drive, so if you want a separate one for a library keep that in mind.

So, what do you think? Which of these budget gaming laptops will you be picking up? Let us know and stay tuned for more recommendations from us for the best deals on the best things in gaming, from peripherals and hardware, to toys and various accessories.

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